BLOG POST #5: Advertising and Society

4 Oct

They’re so cute! How could they be harmful? Who doesn’t want kids to eat well and be smart?

Despite the witty charm of the Frosted Mini-Wheats characters, claims that they were making about children’s attention improving were found to be false. Even though claims about attention and cognitive ability were found to be problematic, Kellogg’s began to develop a campaign for Rice Krispies suggesting that they were good for children’s immune systems.  Again the FTC found this problematic.

This issue is relevant to this week’s discussion for a few reasons.  First, it addresses what is and is not ethical in advertising.  Second, it establishes a standard for the “reasonable consumer” in terms of food products.  Third,  it demonstrates that the FTC, like the FDA, is willing to exercise its rights in terms of consumer protection from misleading claims.

So, my question for you this week is whether you think advertising overstepped its boundaries in the Mini-Wheats case. Some thinking points:

  • Did the FTC overreact? If so, how?
  • Would the reaction have been different if the ad was geared more toward adults, without animated characters in it?
  • Was the advertising unethical?  If so, is there such a thing as ethical advertising?
  • Should we even be talking about this? Who cares about whether cereal is accurately represented. There are bigger issues in advertising.
  • Is there an ad you think is worse than the Mini-Wheats ad and that the FTC should have addressed?  If so, please discuss the ad in your post and bring a copy with you to class (or place the URL at the end of your post).

BLOG POST #4: The Consumer

20 Sep

This week, your task is to write a market profile for the ad below.

You will most likely have to answer each of the thinking points to get to your 150 words.

  • What demographic, psychographic, behavioral and benefit groups comprise this ad’s market profile?
  • Why are these groups being targeted?
  • Does this ad effectively target your market profile?

BLOG POST #3: Modern American AdvertisingIst

13 Sep

As with most advertising, modern advertising is categorized by trends and by the evolution of technology. One of those trends we will discuss some of those trends this week is behavioral targeting.  This trend utilizes cookies on your computer to track what you click on and interact with online.  Then, advertising for products or services that are appropriate for your specific behaviors, or clicks, appears on subsequent websites.  Amazon’s shopping recommendations are an example of this type of targeting, as is Facebook’s customized ads.

A recent New York Times article discussed the next step in behavioral targeting called personalized retargeting or remarketing.  This new advertising seems a little bit more invasive and persistent.  I would like you to comment on your thoughts about remarketing.  Here are some thinking points:

  • Is this type of advertising ethical?  Why or why not?
  • Has this type of targeting happened to you?  Is so, did you like it?
  • What does this type of advertising say about the future of more traditional advertising media?  Will TV spots or print ads, for example, be able to compete?  Is targeting a mass audience ineffective?
  • When does advertising cross the privacy line?  Or, does it?

BLOG POST #2: History

7 Sep

This week, I want you to dive into advertising history a bit more.  Pick either an event or person from Bendinger, et al. Chapter 1.  Spend some time researching your event and person and share your findings in your comment. 

Thinking Points:

  • Why is the person or event so interesting?  What drew you to him or her, or it?
  • What was the contribution the person or event made to advertising?  Do you still see the impact today?
  • How did the event or person influence advertising at the time?  How extensive was that influence?
  • What were the social or cultural conditions that may have shaped the person’s thinking or caused the event?  

BLOG POST #1: Campaign Planning

30 Aug

This week, your reading and class discussion will address the planning and strategy behind an ad campaign.  Therefore, this blog post will do the same.  You will be looking at a current and ongoing ad campaign and analyzing the strategy behind it.

Geico is a company that has created several successful ad campaigns.  They have also been able to develop and simultaneously sustain several different creative concepts.  This is a difficult feat and Geico has performed it well for years.  Their newest effort is the “Rhetorical Questions” campaign.  The campaign launched late in 2009 with several short TV spots, some of which can be found here.  A newer example can be found here.

For your post, you will need to comment on the strategy you see in the campaign.  Following are some thinking points.  These points are intended to help focus your thinking and to prompt you if you’re having some trouble coming up with some comments.  You do not need to answer all, or any, of the points in your post.

  • What are the objectives of the campaign? Do the ads successfully accomplish those objectives?
  • Who is the target market for these ads? Consumers? Customers? What are some demographic, psychographic or behavioral variables that these ads target?
  • What is the creative idea or concept behind these ads? Is it appropriate?  Does it work?
  • This campaign primarily utilizes television.  Is this an appropriate media strategy?  What other media, if any, might also be effective?
  • What were your initial reactions to these ads? What do they say about the strategy behind the ads?

Remember that your post must have a minimum of 150 words and be timestamped by midnight Thursday. Also feel free to find inspiration in the other students’ posts.  Just give those students credit in your post.  Please e-mail me with any questions.  Happy blogging!


16 Aug

Welcome to the class blog for Principles of Advertising. It is here that you will be posting your weekly comments. Each week you will have to write at least 150 words about the posted topic. I anticipate topics being based upon a current happening in the advertising industry, current consumer research, or a current ad campaign. Before you post your response, you may be required to either read a short article, watch a short video, or do a little bit of your own research on a topic. There will be questions included to guide your thinking and to help you frame your post.

To post your response, just click on the Leave a Comment link below. Please be sure to put your full name at the beginning or end of your post. As always, should you have any questions about the topic while you are working on your post, please feel free to e-mail me.